Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Haitian Earthquake

It is a blessing that the cold and snow have slowed the work load for Ranger Bill and his men right now. The lull is giving them time to help our own Henry Scott with his Aid to Haiti project.
Henry hopes to gather and ship aid to Haiti over the next several months or however long it will be needed. The outpouring of food, clothing, shelter and funds for Haiti have truly overwhelmed Henry and his classmates who are running the project. The students have shipped one container of supplies to Haiti. Henry is aware that repairing Haiti and bringing life back to normal for the Haitians will take a long time. Henry is also aware that interest in Haiti will fade with time. Henry is asking everyone to pray for Haiti, especially the Christians there, that God will give them the mental and physical strength to recover and rebuild from the terrible magnitude 7 earthquake. Henry also asks you to pray that God will be glorified in this tragedy and that many in Haiti and around the world will come to know Christ through this.

Friday, January 29, 2010

RB062 The Boy Who Wouldn't Quit

Young Norman hurts his back when he falls on a rock while playing football. Surgery doesn't completely fix the damage to Norman's back. The lad is left unable walk. He must use a wheel chair or crutches to get around. Norm's dad Al is afraid of anything that might make Norman's injury any worse. In spite of his problem, Norman is a happy boy with a tremendous need to challenge himself. Norm won't let his condition or his dad keep him down.
Norm wants to join scouts and participate fully in all the activities. But he can't convince his dad. Bill takes an interest in Norman and wants to help him in scouting. To advance in scouts, Norm will have to hike five miles, learn to swim, and more. Norm will need Bill's help to attempt these challenges and convince Al let his son try. Will Bill be able to help Norm overcome his handicap and Al overcome his fears?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Knotty Pine GAZETTE

Shady River Ice Flows

Ice flows on the Shady River have caused damage and threaten several bridges near Knotty Pine. Ranger Bill Jefferson and several of his men are monitoring and clearing ice build-up at these bridges and trestles. Ranger Bill expects to dynamite these ice blockages. Frenchy DeSalle and some of his men are assisting in the work along with some of mining and tunnel digging companies. Ranger Bill expects ice clearing to go one periodically for the next several weeks.

Ice Festival
Speaking of ice, the Knotty Pine Ice Festival is set for this coming weekend beginning Friday, Jan. 29 at Goose Lake and Goose Lake Lodge. The events for this year's festival are bobsledding, skiing, ice fishing, ice boat races, sail skating, ice skating, ice cutting and sculpting, and curling. Events for the children include snowman and snow fort building, snowball rolling, and of course a snowball fight. The Ladies Auxillary is providing stew and hot chocolate. The Knotty Pine High seniors will be selling coffee, tea, soft drinks and sandwiches to help pay for this year's senior trip. The festival queen will be chosen at noon on Saturday.

The mayor and city council hope that this will be another accident-free festival. Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson and his rangers will be the event judges and will oversee safety. Sheriff Cal and his officers along with his volunteer officers will be on hand for the entire festival.

Ice Hotel and Chapel

Mile High Ski Lodge has once again this year completed and opened its Ice Chapel and Ice Hotel. Many of the region's couples have begun the new year by tying the knot or renewing their marriage vows in the Ice Chapel. Most of these same couples have spent at least one night in the ice hotel as well. The Ice Hotel is open to anyone who is looking for a unique winter adventure and a good deal of fun. A free and hot morning breakfast is served in Mile High Lodge each morning for Ice Hotel guests.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

National Park Birthdays

Zion National Park was established on January 22, 1937.
Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates its birth this month - January 26, 1915.

During the heart of the Civil War, a young Irish-American senator John Conness created a bill to set aside Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as Yosemite National Park. On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill in law establishing the park.

"Oldest in Knotty Pine" vote results

Here are the results of the RBFC vote on "Oldest in Knotty Pine." There were a total of 130 votes for the 20 nominees for oldest character.
Prospectors Joshua Webb (Burning Sands) and Old Ben (Freddy's Story) are our winners with 11 votes each (8.6%). Second place falls to Old Dad Winters (The Broken Promise) with 10 votes. Chief White Feather (The Whispering Cave) is third with 9 votes. Lt. Garnet Greentree (One Mile Down) and Bill's mom (Charlie's Nightmare, The Last Fire Call, and more) were fourth with 7 votes. Our other nominees each got either 5 or 6 votes. No one got less than 5 votes.
My thanks to all of you who participated by nominating someone for "Oldest in Knotty Pine" and everyone who voted for your favorites!!!
We'll post another vote like this very soon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

RB-061 The Laughing Face

Trouble is brewing at Trappers Landing in Big North Country. Roy Westgate's trading post is busy with trappers who should be working their lines. Trappers Abe and Jeff tell of losing pelts from their trap lines. They fear poachers. Then Mac and Shorty say they followed tracks they have never seen before. When they give up and go home, they find their cabin ransacked. Then Big Jack arrives to say he's seen wolverine tracks. The wolverine is the most feared animal in the wild. Trappers believe a wolverine killed Beaver Dan in Alaska. The news creates a panic and causes most of the trappers to quit for the year. Roy's trading post will close if the trappers quit. Roy asks Bill to help. But how can Bill fight superstition and the fear it brings?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Donner Party Treasure

I know of 7 or so Ranger Bill episodes that are no longer aired, mostly because the original recordings have been too damaged to use any longer. Friends have sent me tapes of many of these retired shows. One of those stories is "The Donner Party Treasure." This story has become a real favorite of mine.
In "The Donner Party Treasure," two men Mr. Delong and the Caribou are cutting down old trees in the national forest by permit. But this is not your usual logging operation. Delong looks for a certain kind of tree and the Caribou chops it down. Delong looks for something in the tree. If this mysterious something isn't there, the tree is abandoned and Delong begins the hunt for another such tree. Delong is the owner of a bookstore that sells old and rare books. The Caribou is a mountain woodsman.
Bill becomes suspicious of these two unusual tree cutters and starts to map the path the two are taking. Then Bill heads to the library to do a little searching of his own. When he returns, he marks another route on his map. Bill then quickly leaves on a trip to New York City.
Henry becomes interested in Delong and the Caribou and wants to know what they are doing. On Bill's map, he and Gray Wolf see the route of the tree cutters. They also see another route Bill marked out, the route of the ill-fated Donner Party in the terrible winter of 1846-47. Gray Wolf tells Henry that Bill went to Delong's New York bookstore. Bill found a book that tells about a treasure hidden by the Donner's and how to find it!
While Bill is gone in New York, the Caribou finally cuts down the tree that Delong has been searching for. Delong removes an old lead cylinder from a hollow that was 40 feet up in the tree. There is a note inside written by Tanzen Donner, wife of party leader George Donner. The note gives directions to the cave where they hid their treasure. The Carabou knows the area and led Delong right to the cave. The men found a box in the cave and hurriedly opened it. But there were no jewels or bags of gold inside, only a Bible. That's where Delong's book from his bookstore plays it's part. This Bible is no ordinary Bible. This is a rare and valuable Coverdale Bible, hundreds of years old.
As the two men argue over the Bible, the ground rumbles and roars. Avalanche! The Caribou gets away but breaks his leg in the escape. Delong is trapped and injured. He lays under a pile of rocks, in pain and dying of thirst. The Bible falls open and Delong begins to read, first the Book of Psalms then more. Delong comes to a saving faith and is ready for death.
Bill and the boys go to the Wasatch Mountains to find Delong and the Caribou. They quickly find and rescue the Caribou then look for Delong. Not much later, Bill locates Delong barely alive but now more alive than ever. The fellas rescue Delong and help him back to health.
Delong with his new-found faith repents of his greed and returns the Coverdale Bible to it's rightful owners, the Donner family.

This story, besides being a great adventure, is actually a well-researched piece of history and very plausible. The Donner Party consisted of two Donner brothers; George, 52, and Jacob, 47; James Reed, their families, and others who were part of the Wm. Russell wagon train on the California Trail headed west. Roughly 87 souls with 23 wagons separated from the Russell wagon train to form the Donner party. The Donners took a new detour, the Hastings Cutoff, hoping to get to California faster since they were traveling late in the year. Delays from weather and overloaded wagons severely slowed the party as they traveled the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert, and the Sierra Nevadas. The group was trapped by early and heavy snows at what is now Donner Lake in Donner Pass. The company suffered from injury, disease and starvation. Eventually parts of the group resorted to cannibalism for survival. 15 members headed for Sutter's Fort to get help. Only 7 arrived alive. Four teams left to rescue the Donner party. Of the 87 Donner pioneers, only 48 survived. And two Native Americans on the rescue teams died reaching the Donner party. Jacob Donner was the first of the group to die. George was badly injured in a wagon repair and died late that winter. His wife Tamzen stayed behind to care for her husband. Tamzen died out in a storm and was never found. The entire Reed family along with all the Donner children escaped alive and settled in California.
The Donners were fairly wealthy and could have owned a valuable bible like the Coverdale. The Donner family belonged to the Christian Church, and the Reeds were Catholic. Many in the party kept diaries including Tamzen.
The message in a tree idea is entirely possible. As I said the Donners had many possessions in overloaded wagons. They could easily have left some things behind during the journey. The snows were more than 20 feet deep in many parts of the route, especially in Donner Pass. A message left in a tree might easily have been more than 20 feet off the ground. Years of tree growth would put the message 40 or more feet up in an old tree.

Friday, January 15, 2010

RB-060 Decision for Death

Eight men brave the ice and cold of the Savage Mountains, nick-named the Refrigerator Mountains, for the adventure of mountain climbing. The eight fall into a deep crevasse and are trapped. Two of the eight have fallen even farther than the rest and can't get back to their companions. A rescue team tries and fails to get any of the trapped eight out. High winds and sub-zero temperatures threaten to freeze the men before long. Ranger Bill and his rangers are called in for one more attempt to save the trapped climbers. Bill thinks he can pull the group of six out with helicopters. But the rangers will need to climb down into the crevasse to save the last two men. The parents of the two men say it is too dangerous to try to retrieve their sons. Will Bill and the boys attempt to rescue the two climbers? Can they make it down the crevasse and back out again alive?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oldest in Knotty Pine - 2

Here's the second installment of folks nominated for "Oldest in Knotty Pine." This includes all the names from the first installment. Keep the nominations coming! Send nominations to rangerbillclub@aol.com. Voting begins Sunday, Jan 10th and concludes next Sunday, Jan 17th :
RB005 Burning Sands - prospector Joshua Webb
RB016 Hidden Treasure - Old Dad Winters
RB039 Mrs. Kane Wins a War - Mrs. Kane
RB044 The Old Diehard - Chemist and grandfather Thad Draper
RB047 The Broken Promise - Ezra Newcombe
RB055 A Lesson In Love - Grandpa Woodruf
RB065 The Cat in the Wall - Bill's Mom
RB070 Houseboat Charlie - Charlie
RB082 Mr. Sunshine - Herman Weber
RB089 The Whispering Cave - Chief White Feather
RB091 In the Eagle's Nest - Old Man Morgrave
RB120 The Self-Made Man - Dutch Vanderhaven
RB131 One Mile Down - Lt. Garnet Greentree
RB149 The Law of the Golden Rule - Knute Hobson and Horace Butler
RB153 Pete's Civil War - Pete Granville
RB164 Freddy's Story - prospector Old Ben
RB200 Hunt's Place - Mr. Hunt
RB201 Christmas Bells - both officer Pat O'Roark and Herman Schmidt

If I missed your favorite oldest character, say Stumpy for example, you may e-mail your write-ins to rangerbillclub@aol.com and I'll add those special write-in votes along with the 20 names we have so far.

Friday, January 8, 2010

RB -059 The Man with the Limp

Knotty Pine's board of missions and the orphanage board are both suffering from a severe lack of money. Members of both boards are working hard to drum up contributions. Bill is on both boards along with his friend Steve. Steve has not been coming to either organization's meetings. His wife says he is home on his knees praying about the boards' finances. Board members are angry and want Steve removed. In the middle of all of this, a stranger comes to Knotty Pine, a man dressed to a "T" and walking with a limp. Steve is seen with the man with the limp when he should be at board meetings. Bill defends his friend, but board members have had enough. Is there anything Bill can do to protect Steve's reputation and his seats on both boards? Who is this man with the limp? And what is he doing in Knotty Pine?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oldest in Knotty Pine

Here's the first installment of folks nominated for "Oldest in Knotty Pine." Keep the nominations coming! Send nominations to rangerbillclub@aol.com :
RB005 Burning Sands - prospector Joshua Webb
RB016 Hidden Treasure - Old Dad Winters died at 92
RB039 Mrs. Kane Wins a War - Mrs. Kane
RB070 Houseboat Charlie
RB131 One Mile Down - Lt. Garnet Greentree
RB153 Pete's Civil War - Pete Granville
RB164 Freddy's Story - prospector Old Ben

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blessed New Year and Happy Anniversary

A blessed and prosperous 2010 to you from Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson, Stumpy Jenkins, Gray Wolf, and Henry Scott. Also a big hello from rangers Ralph Carpenter and Rocky McGuire.

And a happy 60th anniversary of Ranger Bill to all the remaining cast and crew of Ranger Bill including Ed "Gray Wolf" Ronne, director Charles Christensen, announcer (also ranger Ralph?) Bill Pearce. Our heart-felt thanks to HisKids Radio for providing the Ranger Bill Fan Club with our streaming audio Ranger Bill broadcasts every week. One more thank-you goes to Moody Audio for preserving Ranger Bill for us to enjoy today.

Anniversary Question -Oldest in Knotty Pine?

We don't mention the many characters who have been in the different stories on Ranger Bill as often as I would like. So I thought now would be a good time to begin talking about some of these folks. We are all probably familiar with some of the regulars on Ranger Bill such as Frenchy DeSalle, Officer Pat O'Roark, Sheriff Cal, or crippled Jimmy Benson from "Jimmy's Christmas Miracle." But do you know that Knotty Pine has its own blacksmith? What do you know about Col. Anderson? Who is/was Bill's dad and mom? Did you know Stumpy was once married?
So to begin this new year of 2010 let's ask the questions, "Who are the oldest characters on Ranger Bill?" and "Who is the oldest in Knotty Pine?" Do the honors go to our favorite senior ranger, the "Old Walrus" Stumpy Jenkins? Now that I've suggested Stumpy as a prime candidate, I'll mention one more person. Do you remember Pete Granville and his Civil War "junk" in "Pete's Civil War"? How old is Pete?
Now it's your turn. Email me at rangerbillclub@aol.com with your suggestions for the oldest member of the Knotty Pine community by Sunday, Jan 10, 2010. Try to include the show title or description of the show in which your character appeared. I'll post your nominations right here on this web page. Then we will vote on the oldest Ranger Bill character.
Good luck and good hunting!

Friday, January 1, 2010

RB-058 Skiers in the Sky

Mile High Ski Lodge has one of the most challenging and dangerous ski runs in all of the Rockies. Top skiers from all around the country come to Mile High to try their skills against the mountain. The only way to get to the top is by ski lift, a cable car held up by 8 support cables and one power cable. With 30 passengers on board, the car's power cable brakes and the car stops over aptly named Dead Man's Gorge. The helpless skiers are trapped in mid air, hundreds of feet above the gorge floor. Fear is affecting the skiers. Normal rescue efforts will not work at this height, so Ranger Bill and his men get the call. Can Bill rescue the 30 passengers from the ski lift before its car comes crashing back to Mile High Lodge? Or will Dead Man's Gorge earn its name again today?